Why I Cancelled Netflix

It was the 1980’s. Dad and I were driving along when I spied a video rental store that had recently opened.

“Why don’t we rent a movie sometime?” I suggested.

“Makes no damn sense to pay to use something when you can spend a little bit more and actually own it,” Dad retorted.

“But you can watch more things for the same amount of money,” I argued.

“And have absolutely nothing to show for it at the end of the day,” Dad countered.

Over the years I’ve tried it both ways. I’ve rented movies, used subscription services…. What could be easier than just paying a few bucks to watch your favorite movies or listen to music?

The answer: actually owning the items in question. When you own the items you can watch them as often as you like. You don’t have to worry about the service you subscribe to removing your favorites or lose access to your whole collection because you happen to be low on money.

Even better, you can sell your copies if you decide you no longer want to keep them or need some extra cash.

Because of this revelation I have cancelled my movie and music subscriptions. I would rather own just a few items than pay to have access to a lot.

Instead of sending money to subscription services, I set that money aside for when I get a chance to look through the bargain bins. Some months I don’t add anything to my collection while others reveal so many hidden gems that I force myself to select only a few.


My latest acquisitions.

Minimalism is a good thing but it gets ridiculous when you pay something for nothing. Since most of us don’t live out of backbacks there is no excuse for us to throw our money away when it comes to entertainment.

In short: If you’re going to spend your hard-earned cash on entertainment, get something to show for it at least. You can always sell it on eBay when you’re done.

9 thoughts on “Why I Cancelled Netflix

  1. Carla

    By the way, I love your pick “Pursuit of Happyness” a great and courageous story….I always appreciate it when media show the gritty side of a road to “success”….not so many toothpaste smiles and floating on clouds. I never forget when Chris Gardner, is starting his “apprenticeship” on Wallstreet and is given a big fat phonebook and a phone to start scoring clients. On a similar vein, Warren Buffet, when he writes about his early days learning investing talks about doing all his calculations by hand with a pencil and some type of ruler, making handmade charts. But what did these two investment moguls learn? Because they started from the ground up, they learned the fundamentals of Wall Street, and after years of struggle and hustle were able to successfully stand and grow
    on those foundational principles.The beauty of accurate knowledge, grit and hustle, upon which they built their fortunes.

    1. Annie Post author

      I absolutely adore true stories of how successful people overcame their challenges! I used to own a copy of that movie years ago, eliminated it since I was still downsizing and thought subscription services were best, but decided to reacquire it after my last financial challenge. I could have seriously used the inspiration of that film during that time period. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Linda Sand

    But, I wouldn’t ever get around to selling those movies so they would become clutter. Plus, I like being able to watch things I’m not sure I would ever buy. And I like variety so it would cost a lot of money to buy enough movies.

    1. Annie Post author

      Hi Linda!
      They can become clutter if you don’t organize them. I store all of my music and movies in large binders and keep a simple inventory for when I want to search for one. I’ve got both CDs and DVDs dating back to well before the Internet was a thing. Even after downsizing them to account for changing interests (and the kids growing up) I’ve still got a sizeable collection stored in three binders. One is for music and the other two are for movies. They drove me crazy until I started doing that years ago…too many boxes that took up far too much space. If it hadn’t been for that collection, however, we would have went stir-crazy when money was tight. It was that experience that made me completely rethink my position on them. Before that I had been slowly selling them off to family and friends.

  3. John Grebe

    When it comes to music I use the best of both worlds thanks to Spotify. I use the free service to preview music to see what sticks with me long term (very little) as compared to the mere new music novelty effect. The few albums I really enjoy long term, I buy copies of and listen to for years, as I literally have albums that I have owned for over 20 years that I still listen to. The cost of buying an album is only around a dollar or so more than a month of the pro-streaming account. So it comes out as being a lot cheaper overall as I only buy a couple albums, if any in the typical year.

    1. Annie Post author

      That is wonderful John! I learn about new music from friends and stuff, listen to it for a while on YouTube, then decide whether or not I want to purchase. I also check out movies and music from my local library to listen to as well. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Holly

    But some of us never watch the same thing twice!! I used to think I would, but realized that I never did. Eventually, I got rid of the videos and DVDs and even the DVD player. A couple of times a year I subscribe to Netflix, watch what I want to watch, then cancel until I get the urge to watch something again. But that is just what works for me!

  5. Joshua Cogliati

    If I am not sure if I want to buy the movie, I check at the library to see if they have it to borrow, and watch it that way. For music I usually go to youtube and listen to it there to see if I want to listen to it again.

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